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Old 12-12-2009, 06:26 PM   #1
hwy61
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Default STI Power Steering Hose Repair - Pictures



If you get air in your power steering system you can remove the cap from the reservoir and this is what you will see. You will also hear your power steering pump "groaning or growling" and your steering can be hard to turn or jerky. This can also destroy your accessory drive belt in short order. Numerous threads have been posted on this but I thought I would add one with some pictures. Talk is good....pictures better.

EDIT: Read the thread and read the posts. Many people have solved their power steering issue by replacing the O ring at the inlet fitting on top of the power steering pump. The rubber O rings harden over time and can let air be sucked into the system. The power steering system will not work with air in the system. Any air. I forgot to take my old O ring with me and purchased an 11mmx16mm x2.5mm size. While this fixed my issues later posters have indicated that a better fitting O ring is the 11mmx14mmx2mm. Other models with different pumps, WRX, older/newer cars might have different size O rings. My suggestion is to take the old O ring with you and find one that is similar. They should be black nitril or something like that and the O rings a Lowes and Home Depot in the plumbing dept fit this bill nicely and so will the ones you find at auto parts stores. The O ring should fit nicely over the male inlet end without being too tight or too loose and not too large to fit properly when the parts are assembled . That is really the bottom line with determining which one is right for your car. Heck, they cost about 35 cents each....buy several and see which one fits best. But until you stop all bubbles from appearing in your reservoir...you will have bad issues with your steering. Nothing is worn out on the pump...it can squall and holler and scream and the steering wheel shake or you can have no assist at all and it is all caused by a little or a lot of air leaking around the O ring and getting into the pump. Fix the leak...and the steering will return to like new.


I would like to find a good thread with pictures of removal, greasing and replacement of the rear struts....again there are numerous threads but no pictures. Mine have been replaced under warranty 4 times but I think I will take them off next time and see if I can't figure out a better fix that doesn't require routine removal for re-greasing. But, this is a picture thread for eliminating hose leaks that allow air into the power steering system. EDIT....couldn't find a thread on installing grease fittings so I did my own. http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show...on+rear+struts



Above is a picture of the location of the stock clamps. The hose end at the pump has been disconnected. The front air intake housing and belt cover are the only engine bay items that have been removed. The clamp and hose end at the power steering pump has been disconnected. Notice that the original clamps put quite an indentation into the original rubber hoses. My hoses were in good shape upon removal with exception of the top of the rear hose which had hardened....probably due to heat from the headers and turbo. I cut off 1" for removal. There is plenty of length for reattaching the cut end and re-clamping.



Pictured is the power steering fluid reservoir and related hoses. The reservoir simply sits on a metal stand. Pull back slightly on the steel arm that retains it and lift straight up for removal. A quick check for the potential for leaks is to simply reach down and try to wiggle the hoses at the four area where they clamp. If you can move them......better put on some new clamps. A leak will soon develop and air will be sucked into the system. Actually air can be sucked in before any fluid leak is observed.



Pictured are all the lines reattached with new clamps. It takes 20 minutes for the bubbles to dissipate in the reservoir with warm oil. It is my understanding that to remove the remaining air from they system I must lift the front of the car taking the weight off the tires then manually turn the tires, (not the steering wheel) engine off, almost lock to lock 20 to 30 times and then allow any remaining bubbles to dissipate. This is done keeping a close check on the level of the fluid making sure it doesn't drop below the proper level markings. Oh yeah, new lines are $75 from the dealer. Fortunately I don't think I need them.

If I didn't present something correctly, please advise. I haven't removed the air yet and tested the system but the above is my understanding of the procedure. BTW, Uncle Scotty is correct about Mobile 1 vs the Shell oil from my recent experience. The synthetic Shell stays in the engine. I don't know why. Hwy61
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Last edited by hwy61; 12-13-2013 at 01:43 AM.
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Old 12-13-2009, 08:14 PM   #2
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The inlet pipe O ring turned out to be the culprit. Read the thread to see other members experience with this simple solution. Hwy61

Last edited by hwy61; 12-13-2013 at 01:15 AM.
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Old 12-13-2009, 11:29 PM   #3
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Have you checked the lines going into/from the rack underneath the car?
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Old 12-14-2009, 12:48 AM   #4
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Yes if these are the metal lines on the other end. They seem to have compression fittings. The fittings are tight and I did not see fluid on anything. Some of these lines apparently handle very high pressure fluid while others are return lines. There is quite a bit of fluid circulation in the reservoir but I'm not sure of exactly how everything works circulation wise.

I'm assuming the metal lines leading off the pump are the high pressure ones and the rubber ones recycle the fluid once it has done its work. There is a good post showing the internal parts of a typical Subaru power steering pump. Lots of stuff in there. Sometimes my reservoir seems to fill too much....other times it is at the right fluid level.

I cannot make any bubbles come out by manually turning the tires or steering wheel but if I start the engine...even without turning the wheel....bubbles begin immediately.

http://www.main.experiencetherave.co...psteeringpump/

I can't help but think this is a power steering pump issue. I will pay a visit to the local Subaru service dept tomorrow to see if I can get some answers. I pulled the right axle also to replace the boots so I won't be driving it down there. That was an easy job....that is since I have a 1/2" electric hammer wrench. I stood on a 24" pull handle... No good. The hammer took it right off. I loosed the pinch bolt and slid the top of the lower ball joint out, then pulled the assembly out hard enough to pull the tranny end loose, then tapped the outer end of the axle back through the hub assembly. All seems good there but the boots are getting pretty soft and I thought this would be a good time to replace them. This way I won't need a realignment. But this power steering has me thinking the problem is the pump. Wonder if a rebuild kit is available. Hwy61

Last edited by hwy61; 12-15-2009 at 11:57 PM.
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Old 12-14-2009, 06:08 PM   #5
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To remove the power steering pump:

1. Remove the front intake air conduit.

2. Remove the belt cover.

3. Drain enough anti-freeze from the radiator so the upper hose can be removed from the radiator and rotated out of the way.

4. Use something to remove the atf fluid from the power steering reservoir. I used a $2 turkey gravey baster .

5. Remove the rubber hose at the top of the power steering and fold it out of the way. You can lift the entire reservoir out of it's housing to aid in separating the hose from the work area.

6. Remove the top banjo bolt. Don't lose the bolt or the retaining clip. Set the hose off to the side and out of the way. It will pivot enough.

7. Loosen the 12 mm pivot bolt under the right side of the front of the alternator.

8. Loosen the 12 mm lock bolt at the alternator adjustment (belt tensioner).

9. Loosen the 12 mm bolt that adjusts the belt tension enough to allow the alternator to be pushed down far enough so that the drive belt can be removed. Set it aside.

10. Remove the electrical connection from the white clip on top of the rear of the alternator.

11. Remove the electrical connection module that sits behind and above the rear of the power steering pump. Note where the vacumn lines connect. Take a picture if you forget this kind of stuff. The reason for removing this part is to allow access to the rear bolt that holds the power steering pump mounting bracket to the engine block. You can barely get an extension down along the side of this part with a 12 mm socket and you run the risk of breaking this part when applying pressure to break the bolt loose. Better safe than sorry.

12. Remove the two mounting bolts located on the bottom of the mount.....NOT the two bolts you can reach through the holes in the pulley.

13. Remove the rear bolt from above using a 8" or longer extension and 12 mm 6 pt socket.

14. Slide the power steering pump forward along with the mount.

Note. There is a 14mm bolt at the rear of the mount that holds the pump to the mount and I'm not sure you can get at it with the powersteering pump mounted in the bracket. So just remove the entire bracket.

Now that you have it out......what??????? Hwy61





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Old 12-14-2009, 09:31 PM   #6
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My pump, installed in the mounting bracket. Remove the three bolts that hold the bracket and the pump is easily removed once accessory lines are removed.



As viewed from the top. Statichead2K reported a bad "O" ring in his which was allowing air to be drawn into the system where the nozzle fits the pump. Access it by removing the 10mm bolt and lift up the nozzle housing.



View of the rear of the pump. I can't see anything wrong with this pump and it sounds fine also. Hwy61

Last edited by hwy61; 12-14-2009 at 09:48 PM.
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Old 12-15-2009, 07:04 PM   #7
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Edit: As I explained in a couple of other similar threads and not in mine....I went into the shop today, no air in the reservoir...moved the front tires back and forth, lock to lock 30 times or so....no bubbles. Started the engine, didn't turn the wheel...for 5 minutes....no bubbles. Great, fianlly got all the air out I thought. STIckySTIfree had posted that the problem with his pump which was behaving much like mine was the little O ring under the inlet nozzle. I had checked everthing but that. So as the pump seemed to be working fine, no noise, no bubbles I decided to place a 10mm socket on that bolt and make sure it was tight. All I did was place the socket on the head of the bolt and the pump began howling like something was dragging on the accessory belt. What was happening is that I had apparently disturbed whatever delicate balance the O ring had established and the pump was sucking in air. Sure enough, within 5 seconds the reservoir was full of bubbles. I shut the engine off and removed the inlet nozzle. There were plenty of bubbles and the little flattened O ring. I expect that is where my leak is. The system was working fine finally until I lightly disturbed the nozzle. If this is the cure.....STIckySTIfee and Statichead2k get credit for the win.

I will post some pictures tomorrow of what the bottom tube of the inlet looks like. From looking at the engineering of this and the way the retaining/tightening bolt sits off to the side it would appear that the O ring needs to be in good shape to securely seal this part to the pump.

Pictured above is the location of the inlet nozzle on the top of a STI power steering pump. The inlet nozzle is removed by removing the 10mm bolt. Then lift up the nozzle. Under it is a small "O" ring. Replace the "O" ring an reinstall. Bleed all air out of the system. This is apparently what took my system down. No permanent damage of course....but I sure could have saved a lot of time had I known where the problem was....and some folks might even buy a new pump. I haven't installed the new O ring so will report back with a successful conclusion to this....I hope. Hwy61

Last edited by hwy61; 12-13-2013 at 01:34 AM.
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Old 12-15-2009, 10:21 PM   #8
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Great write up so far!

Can't wait to see if this fixes your issue as I had a friend that just replaced the entire power steering pump for for over $700 at the dealer.
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Old 12-16-2009, 02:32 PM   #9
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Well if I installed this right.....the problem seems to be solved. I forgot to take the old O ring with me so I guessed at one. This is an 11mm by 16mm x2.5mm O ring. If someone pulls theirs off and the O ring doesn't sit here but at the top of the nozzle....let me know. I will check one of the extras I purchased against the old one too. I just forgot to take it with me.



Anyway, poured fluid into the top of the pump......2 tablespoons, hooked everything back up....uh....1 bolt. Flopped the wheels...a few small bubbles appeared in the reservoir. Flopped the wheels again. No more bubbles. Cranked the engine, no noise at the pump and no bubbles. Let it warm up then turned the steering wheel lock to lock about 40 times. No squeels, no noise, weight still off the front tires. A little bit of wheel shake right at first, a few more small bubbles came out. No foaming. Then it stopped. Turned the engine off, PS fluid warm, manually moved the wheels back and forth.....just a couple of really small bubbles. It seems to be working properly, no wheel shake and I expect it will take a little driving to get those few remaining very tiny bubbles out of the system.

So, In conclusion the primary problem appears to have been the O ring at the inlet...$1 and my return lines were loose and leaking at the bottom of the reservoir. They now have new clamps. I also noticed, that while my engine runs and idles nicely, all of the vacumn lines have hardened at the ends. I will be buying a couple of feet of new lines in several sizes and replacing all of them. Apparently heat and age hardens them. No cracks, checking or splits. They are just hard where they engage the fittings and even with zip ties can no longer be properly tightened.

Well, so much for this adventure. Am waiting on new boots and grease for the right axle. Will install that tomorrow. Am taking pictures BTW. Then I will be ready to let the car down and do some road testing of all of this. Wish me luck that this problems is resolved. Hope this helps someone else because I'm quite sure the Subaru folks would have just recommended a new PS pump. Hwy61

NOTE: Later posters report an 11mmx14mmx2mm O ring fits better. Take your old one with you and get two or three that are similar in size. They only cost 35 cents or so and different years and different engines/pumps may be slightly different. Mine was an '05 STI.

Last edited by hwy61; 12-13-2013 at 01:38 AM.
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Old 12-16-2009, 09:38 PM   #10
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Thanks threads like this are why I come here.
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Old 12-17-2009, 11:10 AM   #11
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Wow. Nice!

I got a call from a guy who needs my help fixing his 06 STi with the same symptoms. I'm going to check this and report back.
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Old 12-17-2009, 10:15 PM   #12
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I installed the axle with new boots and grease. $84 from Subaru. That went easy enough. I had dropped the top of the bottom ball joint so no realignment will be needed. Everything worked fine on the drive home...15 miles. Talked to the Subaru mechanic while I was picking up the boots. They didn't have an "O" ring for the pump anyway. Parts guy who is a hot rodder too says they don't sell rebuild kits for master cylinders or power steering.....too much liability he said. Never thought of that but that might make it harder and harder to obtain rebuild stuff. They only sell new....for this reason.

Anyway, new fluid, hoses tightened where they were leaking at the reservoir and the O ring under the inlet nozzle replaced which was the problem. Everything was smooth and quite on the ride home. Thanks again to STIckySTIfee for the tip that led me to the fix. Hwy61
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Old 12-23-2009, 10:07 AM   #13
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Thank you for documenting all this stuff. You could wind up saving folks hundreds of dollars and a lot of headaches.
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Old 12-23-2009, 10:41 AM   #14
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Nice write up.

For what it's worth my wifes 03 Accord had a similar PS issue. I found a Service Bulletin regarding an O-ring and decided to try it. Called up the dealership and they had the ring in stock thank goodness as a new pump is not cheap.
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Old 12-24-2009, 06:23 PM   #15
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I've put a couple of hundred miles on the car since the repair and so far everything is fine. I expect this fixed the air leak. I agree that a thread that is followed to a successful conclusion is a good one. Other threads at NASIOC have helped me with this and that over the years. There is nothing like experience and some folks here have a good bit. Hwy61
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Old 12-25-2009, 12:38 AM   #16
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Holy crap. Thanks HWY.

I'm going to grab a couple of those o-rings and if my issue isn't fixed I'm going to take off that inlet.
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Old 12-25-2009, 10:49 PM   #17
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One thing not covered so far is how to change fluid (or properly refill the system after a pump out/tank out service such as shown above). So I'll add that

To Flush and Refill the System:
1) Jack up the front of the car and put it on jackstands.
2) Detach the line that returns the fluid to the PS reservoir. It's the one that doesn't go from the tank to the pump. Detach it at the hardline that sits over the cover for the #1 and #3 injector.
3) Put a 1qt gatorade bottle under the end of the hardline. Person 1 holds the bottle while Person 2 turns the steering wheel lock-to-lock vvvveeeeeeerrrrrrryyyyyyy sssssllllllloooooowwwwwllllly. Literally take 5-10 seconds to make one complete turn of the steering wheel. You're trying to avoid making the pump cavitate. Do this with the engine off. The fluid will get sucked out of the tank and put in the gatorade bottle.
4) BEFORE THE TANK RUNS DRY, stop turning the wheel and refill the tank with fresh fluid.
5) Resume turning the wheel slowly. You'll be able to see when nice clean fluid starts to flush into the gatorade bottle.
6) Once you're getting fresh fluid out of the system, reconnect the line and top off the tank.
7) Now start the engine.
8) Start out turning the steering wheel very slowly again. You'll probably hear some whining noises and feel some juddering in the wheel.
9) Until the car is back on the ground, keep an eye on the fluid level in the tank, it will drop if bubbles burp out. You don't want it to run dry, ever.
10) Over the next several minutes (total time for this step is 5+ minutes), gradually speed up how quickly you're turning the wheel until you're racing it lock to lock as fast as you can.
11) Drop the car back to the ground and top off the PS tank if necessary.

It'll take just short of 1L of fluid total to do a flush and fill.


To Refill a System Opened for Service:
1) Jack up the front of the car and put it on jackstands.
2) Detach the line that returns the fluid to the PS reservoir. It's the one that doesn't go from the tank to the pump. Detach it at the hardline that sits over the cover for the #1 and #3 injector.
3) Put a 1qt gatorade bottle under the end of the hardline.
4) Use a funnel or whatnot to "prime" the pump by filling it via the inflow as much as possible.
5) Quickly reconnect the tank to pump supply line and get into steps 6-7 ASAP
6) Fill the tank to the top
7) Person 1 holds the bottle while Person 2 turns the steering wheel lock-to-lock vvvveeeeeeerrrrrrryyyyyyy sssssllllllloooooowwwwwllllly. Literally take 5-10 seconds to make one complete turn of the steering wheel. You're trying to avoid making the pump cavitate. Do this with the engine off. The fluid will get sucked out of the tank and put in the gatorade bottle. However, since the system has huge air bubbles in it, you will likely get big sprays of foam and air during this process. Once or twice, I've seen it take some super-fast steering wheel spins to get the pump to start sucking fluid out of the tank. However, as soon as the pump starts to move fluid, slow back down to a crawl.
8) BEFORE THE TANK RUNS DRY, stop turning the wheel and refill the tank with fresh fluid.
9) Resume turning the wheel slowly. You'll be able to see when nice clean fluid with no major burps of foam or air starts to flush into the gatorade bottle.
10) Once you're getting fresh fluid out of the system, reconnect the return line and top off the tank.
11) Now start the engine.
12) Start out turning the steering wheel very slowly again. You'll probably hear some whining noises and feel some juddering in the wheel.
13) Until the car is back on the ground, keep an eye on the fluid level in the tank, it will drop if bubbles burp out. You don't want it to run dry, ever.
14) Over the next several minutes (total time for this step is 5+ minutes), gradually speed up how quickly you're turning the wheel until you're racing it lock to lock as fast as you can.
15) Drop the car back to the ground and top off the PS tank if necessary.

It'll take just short of 1L of fluid total to flush, refill, and burp a serviced system.
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Old 01-10-2010, 09:22 PM   #18
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my cars makin a whining noises and feel some juddering in the wheel? could my pump be goin?
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Old 01-11-2010, 06:12 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lennybootzz View Post
my cars makin a whining noises and feel some juddering in the wheel? could my pump be goin?
Whining can come from a variety of areas....idler wheel used to tension the A/C belt, similar wheel on the timing belt, water pump, alternator, power steering.....etc. A clue here is you say you are having an issue with the steering wheel. Check three things first. Check your power steering reservoir for the proper level of power steering fluid. Next start the engine, turn the wheel back and forth several times and then look into the power steering reservoir to see if there are any bubbles. Air can make your steering jerky or not work at all depending on the amount of air. If all of this checks out, no bubbles, check for proper tension on the belts with the engine off. 1/4" deflection in the longest span of the belt you can find. Remember old belts can still harden and dry out but they usually don't cause a whine.

If you are really careful you can place a long screwdriver or similar tool against the power steering pump, A/C and listen to the internal noise by placing the end against your ear. Why careful.????? You don't want the belt or a pulley grabbing the end of the screwdriver then driving it through your ear or throwing in through the fender of your Ferarri. So place the end against a safe and slip free portion of the accessory, hold securely in place....then listen.

Cold weather seems to be bringing out a lot of accessory belt issues. Hwy61
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Old 01-15-2010, 12:21 PM   #20
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Just to clarify.

this is the size o-ring you used right?

11mm by 16mm x2.5mm O ring

I haven't replaced the o-ring yet (obviously), but I have fresh rubber hoses coming from subaru and fresh stock clamps (ends up being about $50 in hoses and $10 in clamps). My hoses had cracks on the ends and were extremely hard, which is why I'm replacing them.

hopefully a combination of the hoses/o-ring/fresh clamps will fix it.

hwy, which fluid are you using?
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Old 01-15-2010, 02:24 PM   #21
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excellent thread hwy61! this one's going into my archives. OT, but you sure have a gorgeous front yard (3rd pic with the PS resevior on top of the trash can)....kinda wish SoCal looked like that.

williaty, nice write-up too.
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Old 01-15-2010, 06:19 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sixtoo View Post
excellent thread hwy61! this one's going into my archives. OT, but you sure have a gorgeous front yard (3rd pic with the PS resevior on top of the trash can)....kinda wish SoCal looked like that.

williaty, nice write-up too.
Thanks sixtoo....that is a picture of the woods in a side yard. My front yard is currently having dry stack moss rock walls, herringbone patterned old red bricks, brick soldier courses, irrigation, lighting, cobblestone drive, etc. being constructed. It will be a semi formal English garden with benches, fountain, etc. Should look pretty good when I'm finished. I am a Landscape Architect an own a landscaping company. We do upscale residential landscaping, uh..???? at least e did up until October of '08 when the economy crashed here and hasn't come back. So.....I'm getting some work done at my house finally. Mrs. Hwy61 is happy about that. www.jloperco.com if you want to see some of my work.

I travelled all over California couple of years ago but I started at San Fran and ventured to Carmel and then North. Beautiful State. 12% of the entire U.S. population lives in Cali...but I didn't see them. They must be down south. I was really surprised to see dairy farms 10 miles north of the golden gate bridge. Man, you guys had better protect those Redwoods. Locals might take them for granted but there isn't anything else like them in the entire world. I also didn't see many fast cars while I was there and not too many WRX or STI's...they must be down LA way also. Drove over to Berkeley to see if I could find any old hippy buddies...huh????? All the students looked and talked just like they do around here. TV, music and the Net have homoginized everyone.

Check out my thread on installing grease fittings on the rear struts of my STI. They are smoother than ever and I think that is really the only way to ever get them fully lubricated. http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show...on+rear+struts Hwy61

Last edited by hwy61; 04-06-2010 at 12:49 AM.
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Old 01-17-2010, 11:02 PM   #23
psychoskip
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excellent write up...i will be needing this.
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Old 01-26-2010, 10:43 AM   #24
supertek75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WRX8XB View Post
Just to clarify.

this is the size o-ring you used right?

11mm by 16mm x2.5mm O ring

I haven't replaced the o-ring yet (obviously), but I have fresh rubber hoses coming from subaru and fresh stock clamps (ends up being about $50 in hoses and $10 in clamps). My hoses had cracks on the ends and were extremely hard, which is why I'm replacing them.

hopefully a combination of the hoses/o-ring/fresh clamps will fix it.

hwy, which fluid are you using?
WRX8XB, do you have the part numbers for the hoses? I'm planning on doing all the work as well (change the clamps, o-ring, and possibly the hoses). By the way, is there a recommended fluid?

Last edited by supertek75; 01-26-2010 at 02:04 PM. Reason: Clarification: Hoses, not belts.
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Old 01-26-2010, 12:51 PM   #25
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Once I'm sure the hoses I have are the right ones I'll post up part #'s for everything I have.
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